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The challenges and future of trade unionism in Algeria: a lost cause?

The challenges and future of trade unionism in Algeria: a lost cause?
The challenges and future of trade unionism in Algeria: a lost cause?
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the realities of Algerian employee relations and the challenges autonomous trade unionists encounter in their activities, which are normally far removed from the eyes of the international community.

Design/methodology/approach - In total, 12 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Algerian autonomous trade union leaders, union members and non-members. The collected data were analysed using a thematic approach.

Findings - The interview results brought into relief the challenges of Algerian trade unionism with the following four themes: first, scepticism towards the only government-affiliated trade union in Algeria; second, the relationship between autonomous unions and the government; third, strike actions and intimidation/harassment; and fourth, views of non-trade unionists and the future of Algerian trade unionism.

Research limitations/implications - The sensitivity of the topic and widespread fear limited the number of interviewees and the length of interviews.

Social implications - This paper provides recent empirical evidence reflecting the contemporary nature of employee relations in Algeria, and its discussions consider the prerequisites for a more effective protection of workers' rights in Algeria.

Originality/value - This study addresses the lack of examination of trade union activities in North Africa and in Algeria in particular. Whereas studies on employment relations in emerging economies have been conducted mainly at the macro level, this study makes important contributions by providing a first micro-level insight into the realities of trade unionism in Algeria through giving voice to those who struggle daily to protect workers' rights.
employee relations, algeria, international standards, trade unions, workers' rights, social-movement unionism, south-africa, employment relations, industrial-relations, emerging economies, democracy, mobilization, mozambique, underdevelopment, organizations
0142-5455
351-372
Chelghoum, Amira
b434dcb3-77f2-4f09-bfee-42d2f8acf98f
Takeda, Sachiko
0eb1b6bb-b212-48df-b334-ea1d27dc2ca3
Wilczek, Barbara
7d1b463f-9022-424e-a3d8-d2f2cb47a0cf
Homberg, Fabian
31042a5c-cd37-46a1-bdde-53abb55f1072
Chelghoum, Amira
b434dcb3-77f2-4f09-bfee-42d2f8acf98f
Takeda, Sachiko
0eb1b6bb-b212-48df-b334-ea1d27dc2ca3
Wilczek, Barbara
7d1b463f-9022-424e-a3d8-d2f2cb47a0cf
Homberg, Fabian
31042a5c-cd37-46a1-bdde-53abb55f1072

Chelghoum, Amira, Takeda, Sachiko, Wilczek, Barbara and Homberg, Fabian (2016) The challenges and future of trade unionism in Algeria: a lost cause? Employee Relations, 38 (3), 351-372. (doi:10.1108/ER-11-2014-0135).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the realities of Algerian employee relations and the challenges autonomous trade unionists encounter in their activities, which are normally far removed from the eyes of the international community.

Design/methodology/approach - In total, 12 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Algerian autonomous trade union leaders, union members and non-members. The collected data were analysed using a thematic approach.

Findings - The interview results brought into relief the challenges of Algerian trade unionism with the following four themes: first, scepticism towards the only government-affiliated trade union in Algeria; second, the relationship between autonomous unions and the government; third, strike actions and intimidation/harassment; and fourth, views of non-trade unionists and the future of Algerian trade unionism.

Research limitations/implications - The sensitivity of the topic and widespread fear limited the number of interviewees and the length of interviews.

Social implications - This paper provides recent empirical evidence reflecting the contemporary nature of employee relations in Algeria, and its discussions consider the prerequisites for a more effective protection of workers' rights in Algeria.

Originality/value - This study addresses the lack of examination of trade union activities in North Africa and in Algeria in particular. Whereas studies on employment relations in emerging economies have been conducted mainly at the macro level, this study makes important contributions by providing a first micro-level insight into the realities of trade unionism in Algeria through giving voice to those who struggle daily to protect workers' rights.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 August 2015
Published date: 2016
Keywords: employee relations, algeria, international standards, trade unions, workers' rights, social-movement unionism, south-africa, employment relations, industrial-relations, emerging economies, democracy, mobilization, mozambique, underdevelopment, organizations
Organisations: HRM and Organisational Behaviour

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 398707
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/398707
ISSN: 0142-5455
PURE UUID: dae38a62-b126-4021-82de-90c584ffa6d5

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2016 10:12
Last modified: 10 Jan 2018 05:17

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Contributors

Author: Amira Chelghoum
Author: Sachiko Takeda
Author: Barbara Wilczek
Author: Fabian Homberg

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